Royal Sonesta to Host 52nd Annual ‘Greasing of the Poles’
NEW ORLEANS – Royal Sonesta New Orleans will host its “Greasing of the Poles” event at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 25 at 300 Bourbon Street. Local personality Kenny Lopez — the 2019 Greasing of the Poles champion — will serve as master of ceremonies.
This annual ritual is one of the signs that the Carnival season is in full swing. Half a century ago, Royal Sonesta management began greasing the hotel’s support poles as a practical means to deter overzealous revelers from shimmying up to the balconies. Now, the precautionary measure has become the pretext for an event unto itself as partygoers gather to watch local notables compete to get the job done with the most style.
Competing this year are teacher and influencer Greg Kata, candle maker Stephanie Kaufman; Fidelity Bank executive Tammy O’Shea and local artist and burlesque performer Mamie Dame. The event will also feature members of the krewes of Zulu, Bacchus and NOMTOC, along with several Mardi Gras Indians and performances from Leroy Jones and the Original Hurricane Brass Band. Members of the Merry Antoinettes marching club will also be present. The judges are Mardi Gras expert Arthur Hardy, photographer David Mora and burlesque star Trixie Minx.
Greasing of the Poles is free and open to the public. Virtual viewing is also available via Facebook live-stream @RoyalSonestaNO.